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Old 01-14-07, 12:05 AM   #1
HolyInstantRice
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Cat. 5 Training RR Report (super long and detailed)

Hello everyone! This is my first race report, so bear with me here. I'm a junior racer starting to do USCF-sanctioned races, but my experience so far has been with my club and its very well-organized winter series. Last weekend, the 32-mile road race took place at Uvas Dam in Morgan Hill, California.

I got my bike and read my dad the directions to the registration site as we helplessly wandered further and farther, but we get there well on time and I get signed in and my race number pinned. Before I look for my other junior friends, I realized that I was waaay underdressed for the 40 degree weather. While everyone else had had the vests and numerous layers, I've was only equipped with a Craft long sleeved base layer and a pair of leg warmers. But by then it was too late to do anything; time to be a man!

I was slightly disappointed but also optimistic about my sandbaggery. On one hand, while I wouldn't get to race with my friends who were upgraded to the 4s the year before I joined the club, I stood a slightly better chance in the 5s (yeah, right). It's kind of a misnomer, really - the 5s are really strong 4s and 5s, while the 4s are seeded with some 3s.

My warm up was botched because I ran out of time, and the race starts. I figured I'd warm up while the race was going at a pretty mellow pace. It consisted of a few sprints (told the guys before I did them, so as not to irritate them) and some mellow recovery-paced riding while sitting in. Right as it started, the more experienced guys were able to arrange us in a double rotating paceline, so no fusterclucking around, they gave the impression.

Halfway through the first lap of the two lap race, the pace started to slowly pick up. Our pulls began to get shorter but faster as we neared the dreaded WALL. ''THE WALL'' is about five hundred metres of a grueling 15-20% grade. Seeing as how I had let the others work harder than me up until this point, I proceeded to get to the front. When the road turned up I immediately put the hammer down so that the 4s, who started three minutes behind us, wouldn't have as much of a chance to catch us.

If any of you guys are out there reading, I know you didn't get much of a draft at five-and-a-half miles an hour, but hey, tough luck .

Fortunately, the race then turned downhill (fortunately, not figuratively) and I let any stragglers catch up on the descent. From the looks of it, two of the guys, Derek and David, had planned to attempt a breakaway but gave up, as they realized the two of them going at it alone would weaken all of us. I then made a mental note to watch them throughout the rest of the race as they were easily the two strongest guys out there. The road then turned up again, to about a 4-5% grade and we made it to one lap without being caught.

On one of the shallower descents, a chase car (driven by none other than the father of one my close friends who could not race today because he had an unfortunate ''finger separation'' accident while ''playing'' with his new track bike) tells us we have one-and-a-half minutes left on the 4s. For some reason, we immediately slowed down, either demoralized or just plain tired out, so I got up and started making people suffer. David also gets up there with me, realizing our opportunity.

As we proceeded (very quickly, I might add) down a very sharp right turn, David and I cut to the inside and gained a good gap on everyone else except Derek. However, all of us then heard a sharp *pinging* sound and Derek drops back.

''Spokes?''

''Definitely.''

No mercy! We could not afford to wait for him, as, at this point, we were losing ground to the groups started after us. As we made our right hand turn onto The Wall, I looked back and said, ''4s coming up. LET'S GO GUYS GO!'' David said, ''We're screwed,'' and immediately jumped in attack. I follow his wheel and make ''get on my wheel!'' signs to my rear tire to everyone else, as I don't want to lose too many more people. The Wall then got steep, and steeper as two 2s, in a breakaway, said some indiscernible words of encouragement (them breathing too hard to talk, us breathing too hard to hear) and rode upwards at a phenomenal pace.

The entire 2 pack then passed David and I as we proceeded to drop every other 5. David gets out of the saddle and starts trying to hitch on like a madman, but I stay seated and mash my way up. By the top, David and I were back on level terms as we drop downhill again. Thing is, he didn't know that, and I'm there just sitting on his wheel while invisibly calling his bluff. That didn't last long, though - he looked back and discovered me, grinning.

My quads and both my calves then started to seize up and cramp. The final ascent had me screaming in agony with every pedal stroke, and as I crawled past David, I saw his shadow stand up, dial it 400 watts, and then sit down, because unless he had been racing, there was no way he could match my speed.

I put my hands up in victory, but I soon slumped over the bars and hit a stop sign.

Sorry for the length, guys, I'm just a detailed person. Thanks for reading!


EDIT: Yep, so basically I won and our main objective was to stay away from the 4s. The 1s, 2s, and 3s caught us but that didn't matter. Now it's time for me to get shelled in the REAL races .

Last edited by HolyInstantRice; 01-14-07 at 12:49 AM.
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Old 01-14-07, 12:14 AM   #2
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So, you won?
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Old 01-14-07, 12:19 AM   #3
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Sounds like a good training race although I didn't quite follow the rules (trying not to let the 4s catch you, etc). Good job on the training win!

--Steve
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Old 01-14-07, 12:20 AM   #4
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congrats, both for keeping the 4's from overtaking you and the win
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Old 01-14-07, 01:38 AM   #5
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Great report, detail is good for those of us who are stuck indoors due to -45 degree Celcius temperates ! Keep it up, I look forward to more (wins and reports that is!).
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Old 01-14-07, 02:18 AM   #6
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15-20% grade for 500 meters.....tack much?
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Old 01-14-07, 11:32 AM   #7
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Nice Job!! but i would have liked a photo of you hitting the stop sign.
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Old 01-14-07, 12:14 PM   #8
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Congratulations on 1. Winning the race, and 2. being able to express your thoughts in writing better than some of the adults on this forum.
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Old 01-14-07, 12:19 PM   #9
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you're real name wouldn't happen to be Herman Melville, would it?
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Old 01-14-07, 01:12 PM   #10
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you're real name wouldn't happen to be Herman Melville, would it?
just don't call him ishmael
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Old 01-14-07, 01:20 PM   #11
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I'll support this race report by buying the 157-page paperback when it comes out.
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Old 01-14-07, 01:21 PM   #12
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I'll support this race report by buying the 157-page paperback when it comes out.
i'm waiting for the audiobook myself
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Old 01-14-07, 01:23 PM   #13
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Screenplay.
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Old 01-14-07, 01:36 PM   #14
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CliffsNotes
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Old 01-14-07, 01:44 PM   #15
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theres already a page up on sparknotes
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Old 01-15-07, 02:10 PM   #16
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you hit a stop sign?
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Old 01-15-07, 09:43 PM   #17
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Quote:
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you hit a stop sign?
I have to ask the same question. AFAIK, there's no stop sign on that section of road for miles! Unless you hit the one meant for cars leaving the boat ramp area!
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Old 01-15-07, 10:53 PM   #18
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Haha... I actually only remember it as some sort of metal pole. I'm just saying ''stop sign'' so people can relate.
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Old 01-15-07, 11:27 PM   #19
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CliffsNotes
Young dude, reaches deep into his suitcase of courage and wins first race, then hits a pole.
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Old 01-15-07, 11:59 PM   #20
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and thats why you're still a cat 5
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Old 01-16-07, 12:07 AM   #21
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Handicapping

I know of what I speak because I was the person young HolyInstantRice beat :-).

The road race was staged such that the Cat 5's had a 10 minute start, the Cat 4's 6 minutes, Cat 3's 4 minutes, Cat 2's 30s and then the Cat 1's.

As the cat 5's were a very small bunch we were effectively like a breakaway working to stay off the front. By the time we were caught (halfway up a really steep <1 mile long climb) the rest of the ride was pretty much together and myself and HolyInstantRice had just about dropped all the other Cat 5 riders by accelerating up "the wall" to try and tag onto the main pack. If we had got closer to the top of that hill before they caught us it may have been a lot different.

As it happened we finished quite well down in the main pack (we could not quite reel them back in) but also we were both saving energy to try to get the Cat 5 win.

He raced really smartly, and drafted me for the last several miles. I tried to draft other riders too to save some energy, but he was glued to me like a limpet. In hindsight I should have got a sprint in before he jumped off my wheel to try and drop him, but he put the better strategy together and I could not match his final acceleration once he made a burst for the line - he had a few bikelengths on me before I could react.

A fun race :-).
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Old 01-16-07, 05:22 AM   #22
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Quote:
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The road race was staged such that the Cat 5's had a 10 minute start, the Cat 4's 6 minutes, Cat 3's 4 minutes, Cat 2's 30s and then the Cat 1's.
known as an 'australian pursuit race' in scotland.
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Old 01-16-07, 06:49 AM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Six13jockey
He raced really smartly, and drafted me for the last several miles. I tried to draft other riders too to save some energy, but he was glued to me like a limpet. In hindsight I should have got a sprint in before he jumped off my wheel to try and drop him, but he put the better strategy together and I could not match his final acceleration once he made a burst for the line - he had a few bikelengths on me before I could react.

A fun race :-).
1st learning point--If you're at the front of the pack nearing the finish, you're not winning. You're getting used.
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Old 01-16-07, 02:58 PM   #24
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Dr Pete

Ha yeah, but HolyInstantRice is as sticky on the rear wheel as the foodstuff he uses as his handle .
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Old 01-16-07, 03:09 PM   #25
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Nice job. Ok, 32 miles, what was the total ride time?
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